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Last night, we learned more about the story of the men’s discus throw competition at Outdoor Heps from Marlon Mattis, a proud Penn parent who knows a good friendly rivalry when she sees one. Because of the competition location, the only information we ever really got about this event were the final results – Penn’s Sam Mattis won the title for the third straight year and threw a new meet record of 202-07 (61.75m) while Cornell’s Stephen Mozia was the runner-up with 200-09 (61.18m). But there is always more to the result listing. Marlon sent us a few emails that gave us more of the back story and what actually happened at Outdoor Heps. These two have a long history in competing against each other as they began throwing against each other while in high school in New Jersey. The passage below is a blending of the emails that we received from Marlon.
As always, I love your Heps coverage throughout the year. I have submitted pictures and commentary in the past and hope this one is also of value to you.
These two kids have been friends and competitors for three years now and their friendly rivalry has brought out the best in each for us to enjoy. Today’s meet was no exception. Perhaps I’m biased but I thought this was the most intense competition of the Heps this weekend.
On a balmy Mother’s Day in Philly, this was yet another phenomenal discus competition that came down to the last throw to decide the outcome.In the first three rounds, Sam was struggling to throw past 58 meters and that’s when Stephen yelled at him “Sam, get going, make me earns this thing!” Though behind he came up to Stephen and have him a high five and told him awesome throw when Stephen hit his big 200 footer. Stephen (an outstanding thrower and competitor) [had just] set the new standard for the Ivy League – he was the first Ivy league thrower in the history of the league to surpass the 60 meter barrier and then followed that up with a 61.18 meter throw, making him the first Ivy League thrower to surpass the 200 foot barrier at the Heps.In the fourth round, Stephen got up and started clapping for Sam “Let’s go Sam!!!” Sam responded with a 197’8 throw and got Stephen’s approval with a high five as he left the circle.In round 5, Sam hit his first winner and took back the record with a 61.55m toss and got yet another approval from Stephen as he left the circle. The same was true of the 6th and final throw (61.75m), setting the new Ivy League standard for the Heps and becoming only man to win three consecutive conference championships by setting a new meet record. Though disappointed, Stephen sought out Sam to congratulate him.Throughout the competition both warriors wanted the victory but saw it as Pyrrhic if the other guy did not bring his best to the table. The meet showcased 4 records (each of which had to be verified with steel tapes) and 6 throws by both Stephen and Sam that surpassed the previous record. What a treat for throwing fans to see the #4 and the #6 discus throwers in the USA putting on a ballistic show that will be remembered for a long time in the conference.
I have added a picture of the boys. This is a poignant moment as they have led the throwing renaissance in the Heps and it is a bit sad to seem it end.
Let me ask you, who would you want next to you when things get tough in life or the battlefield but two guys like these who dig this deep to win but support each other with equal fervor. We are all the better for not how far these guys have thrown but the examples they have set in what it means to be truly friendly rivals and class acts.
Thank you for sharing this story!